A dockyard stroll – Faversham Nautical Festival, 2015

The sun shone, the kids played and the tide came up on time, floating an interesting collection of mainly local boats, many of them dressed all over for the occasion. And some silly fella spent some time playing hornpipes for small children (in the company of the well known shanty singer Chris Roche), when he wasn’t taking photos…

In case you’re wondering, I do have a soft spot for the barge yacht Nancy Grey.

By the way, I gather the Swing The Bridge appeal raising money to build a new swing bridge capable of being opened and allowing barges and other craft into the upper pool is doing well. I hope to have more news soon…

Paddy Lay Back sung by shantyman Chris Roche

The capstan shanty Paddy Lay Back, sung by shantyman Chris Roche at a sea songs session at Frittenden, Kent in March 2012.

Chris is very modest – but he must one of the most committed singers of sea songs around, at least that I know.

The brains and energy behind The Shanty Crew (established 1976), he has studied these songs, their history and their proper purpose for decades, including using them on a square-rigged sailing ships rounding Cape Horn. He was also privileged to learn from the legendary Stan Hugill – the last working shanty singer.

There are two more recordings of Chris’s singing here and here.